Beware of teen gangs on prowl, police caution

Robin Obino @PeopleDailyKe

Could students be fuelling crime? This is the disturbing question police in Nairobi are grappling with as cases of mugging in the city spiral especially at the onset of the April school holiday.

According to Nairobi police boss Joseph ole Tito, cases of mugging and other forms of violent crimes have increased in the past weeks with students suspected to be involved in the crimes.

To curb the incidents that are said to be on the rise at weekends and evenings, he said city police have increased patrols. And a team formed to track the gangs has confirmed that school-going children are involved in the attacks.

“We have seen an increasing trend where thugs attack and rob city residents. Most of the suspects are schoolage boys,” said an officer in the team.

The officer blamed poor parenting, peer pressure and other social attractions to the increasing juvenile criminals and asked parents and guardians to take care of their children or else they will be arrested or killed in the streets.

On Tuesday, a police officer was injured as he pursued suspected thugs, who had been attacking and robbing residents in Dandora estate, Nairobi.

The officer sustained a deep cut on the leg as he pursued the gang. A suspected thug was shot dead in the drama that happened following complaints that the gang had been attacking and robbing residents of their cash and mobile phones. Police said they are looking for more suspects who managed to escape.

Police involved in the operation said the suspects were high school students. It is not clear if the slain suspect is also a student. At the weekend, four suspects were killed in separate incidents in the city. Four of the suspects were shot dead in a botched robbery in Kibera slums.

The four are said to have been part of a gang that had been terrorising and robbing residents when police were alerted. Police said the suspects were identified by the locals as being part of a gang that has been attacking and robbing them.

According to police, the group has been walking while armed with knives and other crude weapons while robbing locals of their cash and valuables.

The bodies were moved to the mortuary. Three other suspects were lynched after their attempt to rob revellers at a bar in Lucky Summer area, Nairobi. The three were part of a gang that had gone to the bar posing as revellers on Sunday morning when they turned out to be thugs.

According to police, the other revellers regrouped and overpowered the gang lynching the three. Two others managed to escape. Police said the victims were stoned to death adding that efforts to arrest others who escaped are ongoing. Tito, however, warned against mob justice.

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